Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats


THE  MUHAMMADANS.                                                      13
,was the only surviving disciple of Mahavira, the great apostle of the Digain-
baras, as Parsva Nath was of the Svetambara sect.   When the temple was built
by Mani Ram, he enshrined in it a figure of Chandra Prabhu, the second of
the Tirthankaras ; bat a few years ago Seth Raghumith Das brought, from a
ruined temple at Ghvaliar, a large marble statue of Ajifc iNath, which now
occupies the place- of honour.    It is a seated figure of the conventional type,
and beyond it there is nothing whatever of beauty or interest in the temple,
which is as bare and unimpressive a place of worship as any Methodist meeting-
house.    The site, for some unexplained reason, is called the Chaurasi, and the
temple itself is most popularly known by that name.   An annual fair is held
here, .lasting for a week, from Kartik 5 to 12 : it was instituted in 1870 by
Nain-Sukh, a Sar&ugi of Bharat-pur.   In the city are two other Jain temples,
both small and both dedicated to Padma Prabhu—the one In the Ghiya mandi,
the other in the Chaubes* quarter.    There are other temples out in the district
at Kosi and Sahpau.
The Muhammadans, who number only 58,088 In a total population of
671,690, are not only numerically few but are also insignificant from their
social position. A large proportion of them are the descendants of converts
made by force of the sword In early days and are called Malakanas. They are
almost exclusively of the Sunni persuasion, and the Shias have not a single
mosque of their own, either in the city or elsewhere. In Western Mathimi they
nowhere form a considerable community, except at Shnlipnr, where they are
the zamindars and constitute nearly half of the inhabitants of the town, and at
Kosi, where they have been attracted by the large cattle-market, which they
attend as batchers and dealers. To the east of the Jainun& they are rather
more numerous and of somewhat higher stamp ; the head of the Muhamniadan
family seated at Sa'dabad ranking among the leading gentry of the district.
There is also, at Mafa&-ban, a Saiyid clan, who have been settled there for
several centuries, being the descendants of Sufi Yahya of Mashhad, wlio
recovered the fort from the Hindus in the reign of Ala-ud-din ; but they are
not in very affluent circumstances and, beyond their respectable pedigree, have
no other claim to distinction. The head of the family, Sardar AH, officiated
for a time as a tahsildar in the Mainpuri district. The ancestral estate consists,
in addition to part of the township of Maha-ban, of the village of Goharpur
and Nagara Bharu ; while some of his kinsmen are the proprietors of Shahpur
Ghosna, where they have resided for several generations.
Though more than half the population of the district is engaged in agricul-
tural pursuits, the number of resident country gentlemen is exceptionally small.
4